Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Circumcision Decision

Like many sensitive/wimpy, hippie-leaning parents in the Seattle area, my husband and I chose not to castrate—er—clip our son’s foreskins. We took the position of the American Pediatric Association that circumcision is essentially a “cosmetic procedure” as proof that we did not need to have it done to our boys. It seemed somehow barbaric to welcome a child into the world and then immediately clip the skin away from the tip of their penis.

In our area of the world, fully fifty percent of young parents are making just this choice, and so the dread “locker room question” (how will your son feel getting undressed in a locker room as a teenager?) was easy to resolve. They will be in good company.

However, being old farts that grew up in a uniform world of foreskinlessness, we had no personal frame of reference for this particular choice, and so it was with horror that we had the following conversation with a male friend recently:

R (who shall remain nameless as I am writing about him without his permission): I was a homebirth and never circumcised. I paid to have it done as an inpatient procedure in my twenties.
Me: Good heavens. Why?
R: Ever tried to have sex with twenty year old girls?
Me: Ugh. No actually.
R: it’s excruciating if you have a foreskin. Young women are too tight.
Me: Umm. Anybody want some coffee? Ice cream?
My husband: Oh no! Now you tell us! I wish someone had told us before this! Our kids are never going to get laid! Ever.
Me: Let’s look on the bright side. At least they won’t ruin their lives by impregnating their high school sweethearts.
My Husband: We’ve ruined our children’s lives forever! Aggghhhh!
Me: I’m just going to go make that coffee now…